June 3, 2024 | The Jerusalem Post

As Hezbollah ramps up attacks, Iran proxies itch to strike Israel

Iran is watching and learning from Israel’s responses. It is likely that Tehran is mobilizing other proxies to increase attacks on Israel.
June 3, 2024 | The Jerusalem Post

As Hezbollah ramps up attacks, Iran proxies itch to strike Israel

Iran is watching and learning from Israel’s responses. It is likely that Tehran is mobilizing other proxies to increase attacks on Israel.

Hezbollah expanded its attacks over the last week, striking deeper into Israel. It has targeted the Israeli cities of Nahariya and also set off alarms in Acre.

As Hezbollah increases its attacks, it is possible that Iran’s other proxies will be emboldened.

For instance on June 3 the IDF said that it used an Arrow missile to intercept “a surface-to-surface missile that was fired from the direction of the Red Sea toward Israel. Rocket and missile sirens were sounded in the area of Eilat. No injuries were reported.”

Iran’s proxies are itching for more escalation

The threat to Eilat is not entirely new but it appears that Iran’s proxies are all itching for more escalation. Iranian-backed militias in Iraq said they launched a drone targeting Haifa overnight between June 2 and June 3. This appears to be a propaganda claim. However, the groups also said they targeted Eilat last Tuesday from Iraq. These Iranian-backed militias in Iraq, which call themselves the “Islamic Resistance,” have targeted Eilat in the past.

Hezbollah has also doubled its number of attacks in the last month. Pro-Hezbollah Al-Mayadeen media note that the group now has 120,000 Israelis in its “zone” that it attacks in northern Israel. This is an increase in the number, type, and range of attacks. A report by the Alma Research and Education Center in Israel this week revealed the increase in Hezbollah attacks.

“May is the month with the highest intensity of Hezbollah attacks against Israel since October 2023. Throughout May 2024, Hezbollah carried out 325 attacks. The daily average of attacks was 10 per day, whereas in April, Hezbollah carried out 238 attacks with an average of 7.8 attacks per day,” the Alma report concluded.

“In terms of analyzing the weapons used by Hezbollah, in May 2024 there was a significant increase in the number of incidents in the use of anti-tank missiles and UAVs, twofold compared to April 2024: Anti-tank: In May 2024, there were 95 incidents of anti-tank firing, compared to April 2024 when there were 50 incidents. UAVs: There were 85 UAV infiltration incidents in May 2024, up from 42 in April 2024.”

This represents a major escalation that Hezbollah has largely gotten away with because it made it seem incremental. Iran is watching and learning from Israel’s responses as well. It is likely that Iran is mobilizing other proxies to increase attacks on Israel.

Seth Frantzman is the author of Drone Wars: Pioneers, Killing Machine, Artificial Intelligence and the Battle for the Future (Bombardier 2021) and an adjunct fellow at The Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Issues:

Hezbollah Iran Iran Global Threat Network Israel Israel at War Military and Political Power